UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. UN Women Eastern & Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) maintains a large presence in the region, covering 13 countries with program presence in Somalia.
Financial Inclusion as defined by SADC refers to ’the delivery of financial services and products in a way that are available, accessible and affordable to all segments of the society, playing a pivotal role in combatting poverty and contributing to inclusive economic growth’. There is currently a low of financial inclusion amongst member states and it has been identified as one of the potential contributors to sustainable economic growth and stability as well as the industrialization agenda.
SADC Secretariat is currently driving financial inclusion in the sub-region by providing support to mitigate supply, demand and policy/regulatory barriers and has a Strategy for Financial Inclusion and SMEs Access to Finance (2023-2028). Member states play a vital role in this initiative as they have to carry out the necessary policy reforms and mainstream the strategy in their national plans and budgets.
One of the prerequisites for women’s empowerment through economic participation is having access to and use of quality financial products and services. Access to these services is important for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction as it enables people to better manage risk and invest in a variety of products and economic activities. However, it is even more important for women because of limited control over economic resources, limited asset ownership and their unequal representation in labour markets. From a green economy perspective, it will also become increasingly necessary to develop systems that measure the extent to which women use and benefit from financial products and services offered by the public, private and not-for-profit sectors that consider environmental factors and are associated with environmentally sustainable development priorities.
All these policies are important but without the necessary data, it is not possible to adequately quantify the current situation nor monitor changes over time. Whereas SADC has data on access to financial services for 15 of its 16 member states, this data is not disaggregated by sex and other important variables that explain intersectionality. Neither does the current data systems enable them to measure the outcomes and the impact of financial exclusion. SADC has also recently started to implement the ‘SADC financial inclusion gender action plan’ (2023-2028). This plan includes mechanisms and tools to promote and implement gender mainstreaming in financial inclusion as part of a support program to women entrepreneurs. Some of the tools in their toolkit is to promote Gender-Responsive Budgeting, Gender-Responsive Procurement as well as access to finance for SME owned by women. One of its objectives is to ensure that gender-disaggregated data are collected and used across all institutions (regulatory and non-regulatory) and that the processes are institutionalized.
During 2024 UN Women will partner with SADC in support of the implementation of the data component of the financial inclusion gender action plan.
The consultancy will be aimed at establishing the gender data gaps with regards to financial inclusion and asset ownership in the region as well as the extent to which there are mechanisms in place to monitor the access and use of women to green financing. This will culminate in a training which will form part of the SADC gender statistics program which will build the capacity of national statistics offices, ministries of women and finance of member states, and other relevant stakeholders to measure financial inclusion.
The consultant will be supervised by the Gender statistics specialist of the UN Women ESA-RO, with additional inputs and advice from a steering committee consisting of the SADC statistics unit, SADC gender unit, SADC Directorate of Finance Investment and Customs and the UN Women ESA-RO Women Economic Empowerment advisor.
Scope of work:
The overall goal of the project is to establish and describe the current avilablity of gender related financial inclusion data and develop training materials showcasing international best practices of mainstreaming gender in financial inclusion and asset ownership in the region.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Inception report that contains a literature review and describes the process and methods that will be used for data collection across member states and the proposed training plan and toolkit.
- Collection and consolidation of existing financial inclusion indicator data as it relates to the Financial Inclusion Data Working Group indicator framework and the ‘SADC financial inclusion gender action plan’ in close collaboration with the SADC statistics unit.
- Investigate, pronounce and make recommendations on data availability related to outcomes and impact of financial inclusion
- Make recommendations on improved data use and further research opportunities
- Consolidation of the key findings of the key indicator study in a 20-page regional report.
- One training toolkit consisting of 30-50 pages. It should include practical examples from countries in the region and should be compiled as a collection of best practices and practical ‘Ideas and Tips’ of how to mainstream gender in financial inclusion data systems as well as measure outcomes and impact.
- Facilitate one regional workshop in a country in the SADC region that launches the findings of the study and socializes the measurement toolkit.
Table 1: Breakdown of interim milestones and deliverables
Number of days
Inception report: Desk review of international best practices and bi lateral consultation with relevant users and producers of financial inclusion statistics. Design of indicator matrix to be shared and completed by SADC member states
Preparation of overview report on status of financial inclusion in the region
Preparation of draft training materials
Preparation and facilitation of workshop to build capacity and share the findings
Total number of working days
- Respect for Diversity
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
- Creative Problem Solving
- Effective Communication
- Inclusive Collaboration
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Leading by Example
Please visit this link for more information on UN Women's Core Values and Competencies: https://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/employment/application-process#_Values
- Demonstrable statistical and related experience in the East and Southern Africa region.
- Demonstrated knowledge or experience in organizing information and materials for knowledge sharing and learning.
- Knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals and national efforts to implement them is strongly preferred.
- Excellent writing skills.
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree in economics, finance, gender studies, sociology, development studies or related field.
- A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- Minimum 7 years experience in working in the field of financial inclusion
- Experience in gender and women’s economic empowerment work
- Experience in green economy financing will be an advantage
- Experience in producing and/or using data and statistics will be an advantage
- Experience in working with Government
- Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
- Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset.
All applications must include (as an attachment) a completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from https://www.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/2022-07/UN-Women-P11-Personal-History-Form-en.doc
Please note that the system will only allow one attachment and candidates are required to include in the P-11 form links for their previously published reports and articles completed within the last two years. Applications without the completed and signed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.
Diversity and inclusion:
At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, competence, integrity and organizational need.
If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.
UN Women has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UN Women, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to UN Women's policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women personnel and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. (Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.